Off The Wall
On The Record
Dr. Skip Myers
Registered Sex Offenders for Edgefield
E-mail the Editor
PO Box 972
State and Federal
Local Political Parties
Chamber of Commerce
New York Times
New York Post
Los Angeles Times
past articles please visit our Archives
Should Driving Tests Include "Off Road Recovery"?
A Column by the Editor
web posted May 10, 2011
COLUMN – As the Editor and Publisher of Edgefield
Daily, I have the unwanted task of covering the most horrific stories
in the county up close and personal. The worst of which is a traffic
fatality. The majority of these are caused by a driver running off the
road and "overcorrecting", resulting in them losing control of the
vehicle, ending with a deadly result.
There are many other crashes from the same circumstances that lead to
injuries, though not death.
Perhaps it is time to require an "off road recovery" portion of the
drivers test to become a licensed driver or, at very least, such
training during drivers education classes during high school.
I do not look for that to happen anytime soon. Forcing a student
driver, or even an experienced driver, off the road could leave the
training facilitator open for litigation in the event a crash took
place during the training even under the most controlled of
circumstances. The unknown variable would always be the driver, whose
actions can never be predicted.
The fact remains that most fatalities in our county result from a
driver running off the road and "snatching" the car back onto the
roadway. This causes the vehicle to sharply cross the oncoming lane
when the tires gain traction on the roadway, resulting in the driver
then responding in a similar sharp turning back to their lane.
The reaction causes the driver to lose control of the vehicle, or the
vehicle to start to roll due to the sideways motion. Regardless of the
result, the driver is no longer in control of the car or the direction
it is traveling.
The reality is, that if a driver refuses to act on their impulses, they
stand a far better chance of survival and avoiding a serious crash. And
that can only be accomplished by training. Training that should start
at a young age for teens seeking to get their drivers license.
It would also be something older drivers should take voluntarily to
help them in defensive driving measures.
The most widely accepted practice is for a driver who finds themselves
running off the roadway and onto the shoulder is to resist the urge to
snatch the wheel sharply back onto the road. Remain calm and remove
your foot from the accelerator and keep control of the vehicle. As the
vehicle begins to slow, ease the vehicle back onto the roadway with a
slight turning of the steering wheel.
Never slam on the brakes, especially during or just after rainy
conditions. The grass shoulders will be very slick and doing so
increases the chances the vehicle will begin to slide sideways and the
driver losing control.
Also resist the urge to do so to avoid hitting a sign or a mailbox. It
is far better to have minor damage to the vehicle's front end than to
suffer an out of control slide or spin that could leave you with
serious injury or death.
If you do find yourself in a situation with the car in a slide, turn
the steering wheel into the direction of the spin slowly and remain off
the brake and accelerator. Any quick or jerking motion could result in
losing control of the situation.
Of course, the best defensive driving measure any driver can take is to
remain focused on the primary job of driving. Avoid distractions such
as answering a cell phone call or trying to dial or text while driving.
No phone call is more important than your life, or those of your
Never reach down to retrieve a dropped item while driving. The item is
not going anywhere and you can pull off the roadway to retrieve the
item, even a lit cigarette. A small burn in the carpet is better than a
totaled vehicle, injury or loss of life.
There have been five fatalities on Edgefield County roads so far this
year, with three of the deaths directly related to the driver running
off the road and losing control.
© Copyright 2011 All material is property of
EdgefieldDaily.com and parent company and
cannot be reproduced,
redistributed without the expressed written permission of Edgefield Daily.com
We still need recipes for Cooking Section
WEBNEWS – Send in your favorite or
favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in.
Help create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking,
grilling, sauces, and deserts! Send in your submissions here.